What’s A Wallum? Ward Village’s Latest Tower Has an Innovative Structure

A new Kaka‘ako condo includes a design feature so new it doesn’t seem to have a name.
Photos: Courtesy of Ward Village


Ward Village recently launched sales of Kō‘ula, its newest residential tower, with a sales gallery in the IBM Building. The renderings show a different look for the building set next to Victoria Ward Park. Advertised as a “sculpture that rises from the garden,” wavy white lines run vertically up the building. And the look sets it apart from some of the shiny new rectangles so popular in recent years.


The building was designed by Studio Gang and Yabu Pushelberg and named by local artist Sig Zane to reflect the red sugar cane that once grew in the area. The wavy new exterior design feature was initially called a wallum, but the term didn’t stick. We guessed, we Googled, we made phone calls—and we still couldn’t figure out what exactly the columns were for, so we asked the folks at Ward Village.




Turns out they provide exterior structural support, replacing supports usually built into the walls of a building. Designers say the lines also contribute to increased privacy and sustainability. Stand on a lānai at Kō‘ula, and you won’t be able to look left or right and see into a neighbor’s lānai, making everyone’s outdoor space more private. And, since the amount of exterior glazing on a building is considered when evaluating overall sustainability, less glass is considered more sustainable. The exterior supports reduce the overall amount of glazing. Lānai are inset, so less of the glass on the exterior is directly exposed to sunlight, helping curb solar heat in interior spaces.


Whatever you call them, the new supports make the 41-story building stand out. When completed it will include 565 units, a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, selling from $600,000 to more than $2 million. It’s the sixth building developed by Ward Village and will be ‘Ewa of the Ae‘o condo, which has a Whole Foods Market on the lower floors.


Under its master plan, Howard Hughes Corp. envisions 16 towers and 1 million square feet of retail space on the 60-acre Kaka‘ako property.